Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage.  Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

Chris is a native of rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in the upstairs bedroom of his grandmother's house, and grew up in a 230-year-old log cabin in the woods. Chris traces his interest in journalism to his childhood, when his parents threatened to take away his newspaper if he didn’t do his chores.


Politics & Government
5:25 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Back Away From Bill To Restrict Some Pesticides

FIle photo. A measure in Oregon would have banned the use of four types of pesticides.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:53 pm

This week, Oregon may join Washington in backing away from a proposal to protect bees by restricting certain pesticides.

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Politics & Government
4:14 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Head Back To Work After Snow Day

A view of the Capitol mall in Salem on Thursday afternoon.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:07 pm

Oregon lawmakers get back to work Monday after a snow day Friday threw a wrench in the schedule. The short week turned up the pressure on an already brief session.

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Politics & Government
5:01 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Background Checks For Private Gun Sales

Quagmar Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:53 pm

Former astronaut Mark Kelly was among those speaking out in favor of a measure requiring criminal background checks for most private gun sales in Oregon.

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Improving the DMV Experience
6:04 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

A Better DMV? Oregon Lawmaker Wants To Study Agency's Service Levels

File photo of an Oregon DMV clerk helping a customer.
OregonDOT Flickr

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:01 pm

An Oregon lawmaker wants the state to improve customer service at the DMV -- in part by offering longer hours with shorter wait times.

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6:32 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Plan To Offer Free Community College Tuition

File photo of Tillamook Bay Community College in Tillamook, Ore.
M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 4:08 pm

Oregon lawmakers are considering what some may call an audacious plan: free community college for all of its state’s high school graduates.

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Politics & Government
5:17 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Oregon Lawmakers Open 35-Day Session

File photo. The 2014 Regular Session kicked off in Salem on Monday.
Chris Phan Flickr

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 3:49 pm

Oregon lawmakers convened Monday for a whirlwind 35-day session. But the thorniest topics were largely absent from the opening day festivities.

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issues facing Oregon lawmakers
4:50 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Lawmakers Return To Salem With Lots Of Issues And Little Time

File photo of the Oregon State Capitol Building
Matt Howry Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 2:51 pm

Pot, guns and liquor. Those are a few of the issues facing Oregon lawmakers as they return to the state capitol Monday for a five-week legislative session.

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Politics & Government
4:49 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Oregon Considers Measure To Limit E-Cigarette Access

Justin Newman exhales vapor from an e-cigarette.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 5:53 pm

Sometimes technology outpaces the government's ability to regulate it. That's what's happening with electronic cigarettes.

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Allowing grocery stores to sell hard liquor
4:44 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Kitzhaber Has 'Concerns' About Grocery Stores Liquor Sales

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber answers questions from reporters during a state capitol press conference Thursday.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 4:16 pm

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he has concerns about proposals to allow grocery stores to sell hard liquor.

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Governor's Bridge Ultimatum
9:36 am
Tue January 28, 2014

The Hour Of Decision Is Near For The Columbia River Crossing

Interstate 5 spans the Columbia River between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington.
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 9:51 am

The Columbia River lazily passes under Interstate 5 between Portland and Vancouver, Wash. You wouldn't really call the water troubled. The bridges over it, however, are. 

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